We saw in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. And we saw in Galatians 3:5 that Paul was able to minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit, healing, and other miracles “by the hearing of faith,” or by the people hearing faith preached. But it’s important to note that they had to accept and receive for themselves—into their own hearts—the Word that Paul preached.
Many times, Christians just accept what someone else says instead of studying the Bible for themselves. I’ve always encouraged people not just to take my word for something but to study the Bible for themselves. In other words, don’t take this teaching and say, “Brother Hagin said such–and–such.” Find out for yourself what the Bible says and say, “The Bible says such–and–such.” What I say, or what anyone else says, is unimportant unless it’s scriptural.
Find out for yourself what the Bible says and repeat that, not just what you heard someone else say. If the Bible says it, repeat it. But if the Bible doesn’t say it, don’t repeat it! Don’t accept what any preacher says unless you can read it for yourself in the Word. We’re not to follow any man; we’re to follow God.
Faith for healing won’t come just by hearing me preach about healing, unless you see it in the Word and accept the Word for yourself. And faith won’t come just by listening to teaching tapes or to messages you hear on the radio or on television. Faith comes when you hear God’s Word, accept the Word for yourself, and believe it in your own heart.
Christians ought to look up every scripture that’s given in a sermon and feed on those scriptures on their own time. Instead, many of them just take the preacher’s word for it and try to live off what the preacher knows and believes. I know good people who are saved and filled with the Holy Ghost who spend their time listening to all sorts of teaching tapes—they’ve been listening for years—yet they don’t have an ounce of faith. Bless their darling hearts, they think they have faith. But they’re big talkers and little doers. In other words, they’re talking big, but they’re actually living very little of what they’ve heard.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hearing in connection with faith. But you must also study the Word of God for yourself for faith to come. You must believe God’s Word for yourself—in your own heart—to receive from Him. Yes, God will work miracles and initiate some miraculous things on His own at times, but that is not the ordinary way to receive from Him. So don’t sit around and wait for something to turn up. Get in the Word for yourself, believe it in your heart, and then do what the Word says!